A friend recently told me that she had totally put her foot in her mouth. She had run into a friend wearing a cancer ribbon, and mistakenly thought it represented a different cancer. After going on and on about how she supported efforts to fund research for that particular cancer, her friend became quiet. Only after an uncomfortable period of silence that seemed to stretch to eternity, did her friend point out her error.
The orange ribbon she was wearing stood for leukemia in honor of her son, not brain cancer (gray ribbon) as my friend had thought.
I think most people are patient when we goof up in this way. After all, there are so many conditions and concerns represented by ribbons that it would be hard to keep the colors straight even if you made a concerted effort to do so.
But are you curious about which colors go with which cancers? I know that with "pink fatigue" some people would really rather not see any ribbons for a time. But ribbons have been and will continue to be a powerful way to raise awareness about the many conditions, including breast cancer, that still need awareness and funding in order to prevent suffering and death. If you are interested, check out his article that not only lists the colors of ribbons for different cancers and cancer related concerns, but also the history of awareness ribbons, and ways that creative people can make their own awareness ribbons.